The CW’s programming slate has always had an eye toward the comic book crowd. Smallville ran for a solid 10 seasons before closing out in 2010. More recently, the network has seen a sudden surge in comic adaptations, stacking its lineup with predominantly genre shows. They started with Arrow in 2012, and subsequently began expanding that universe with The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, all of which have been continuously renewed and are in the midst of their latest seasons.
Those series have earned The CW plenty of recognition over the past few years, presenting the network as a premier destination for comic book adaptations and genre fare alike. Now, the network is bolstering its portfolio by adapting a comic book series from a publisher other than DC Comics, as an adaptation of Valiant Comics’ Doctor Mirage is underway.
As reported by Deadline, the comic book series, co-created by writer/artist Bob Layton and illustrator Bernard Chang, marks Valiant’s first foray onto the small screen. Annabelle screenwriter Gary Dauberman will pen the script for television. He’ll also executive produce alongside Chris Fenton (Collide) and Chris Cowles (The Numbers Station).
The show is seemingly based on most recent Doctor Mirage series, The Death Defying Doctor Mirage, which trails semi-retired private investigator Carmen Mirage, aka Shan Fong. She’s able to communicate with dead souls — except for her late husband, Hwen. Haunted, she uses her powers to solve cases and bring peace to the recently bereaved, but a special job might unlock the key to getting Hwen back.
With Dauberman steering the narrative, this adaptation of Doctor Mirage may take on a darker edge. Annabelle was a chilling nod to The Conjuring, and his next two projects also stick firmly to horror: an Annabelle sequel plus an adaption of Stephen King’s famously terrifying It, both due out in 2017. However, Dauberman is also at work on a sci-fi project for USA called The Terrestrial, so it’s possible he is looking to expand and explore other genres.
The news also signals a major leap for Valiant. The indie publisher announced in October they were launching an online series called Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe, which will transform their comic book characters to live action for the first time ever. The jump to television solidifies the publisher’s interest in expanding into film and TV, but they have a daunting task ahead of them if they want to compete with Marvel and DC. Nonetheless, Dr. Mirage sounds like a fresh undertaking, and it will be interesting to see what other names get involved.